As National Apprenticeship Week gets under way, a specialist supplier of print and packaging solutions with headquarters in the North East is investing in future generations.
The Encore Group, which serves clients from its sites in the North East and West Yorkshire, currently employs nine apprentices across its divisions at Encore Envelopes and Encore Packaging Solutions.
The apprentices range in age from 16 to 21 and work in a variety of fields across the group’s divisions in Washington, Peterlee and Dewsbury.
Operations Director Mark Eyeington said: “Apprenticeships are a great way to develop young talent, particularly from the local area.
“The Encore Group has run apprenticeships for 20 years with great success, and most of those go on to have great careers. In fact, 95 per cent of the apprentices we have had have gone on to become full-time members of staff, and we’re looking forward to recruiting more over the course of the year.
“Apprenticeships work well to offer a career for young people, as well as reducing the overall unemployment rate and keeping valuable talent in the local area.
“There is a recognised skills shortage in the carton industry, created by skilled people leaving the industry and not being replaced. Apprenticeships provide companies like Encore with the opportunity to grow our own talent, who will usually remain loyal, content and committed.”
One such success story is Jonathan Ellison, from Gateshead, a former student of the TDR Training Centre in Newcastle.
Jonathan joined Encore Envelopes in 2016 as a general engineering apprentice, and, following his graduation, has been taken on as a machine adjuster.
He said: “I really enjoy working at Encore, and an apprenticeship was a great way to learn a trade while getting paid at the same time.
“It gave me the opportunity to understand all about the role of a machine adjuster, as well as getting so much invaluable hands-on experience.
“I’d recommend an apprenticeship to anyone, and my advice would be learn as much as possible from the experienced team to help you progress.”
Callum Aveyard is the youngest of The Encore Group’s current cohort, starting last month as an apprentice engineer at Encore Envelopes in Dewsbury.
He said: “The aspect of my apprenticeship that I enjoy most is working with my hands and staying busy. I hope it will help me achieve my goal of becoming a fully qualified engineer.
“I enjoy working at Encore because they are local and can provide me with all the skills I need to achieve my goals.”